DayBreak

 

Pattern: Daybreak by Stephen West

Yarn: Louet Gems in Ferm Green and Regia 4ply Grey

Needles: 3.5mm circs

Start Date: September 24th 2009

Finish Date: October 2nd 2009

The plan to put Daybreak on the back burner lasted  all of 2 seconds, it proved to be a great t.v. knit with lots of stockinette and a few slipped stitches. The colour changes kept my interest enough to keep trucking along and not get bored.

 I decided to go with two plain colours instead of the many variegated daybreak`s I`ve been seeing on Ravelry andI`m pretty pleased with the outcome. I wanted something wearable unlike my clapotis*… *love the yarn I used for it but its so bright it just doesn`t go with anything, its headed to the frog pond soon me thinks* This green and grey combo is a bit more subtle and definitely wearable with all of my jackets.

I`ve worn this a few times already, its proven to be wonderfully warm and will be a great staple in my winter wardrobe.

I can see more scarf shawls in my future!

Mystery unravelled….

Well…. the completed socks came before the Tadpole :)

Pattern: Through The Loops Mystery Socks by Kirsten Kapur

Yarn:Louet Gems fine fingering in fern green

Needles:2.75mm dpns

Start Date: Oct 1st 2009

Finish Date: Oct 29th 2009

Kirsten, once again designed another wonderful mystery sock for Socktoberfest. The pairing of cables and lace really made this pattern pop. The socks are nice and stretchy which is a good thing with the water retention I’ve got going on right now.  I would think this would be a great gift knitting pattern if you`re not 100% sure on the size on the recipients foot.  Relaxed or stretched, they look great either way!

I love how the pattern switched from the side of the legs to the top of the foot.  The cable travelling down the side of the heel was also  a nice touch. These socks are nice too look at from any angle!

Socktoberfest Socks complete! 

Fair Isle First!

I’m so excited to share my next project with you.  I have wanted to try Fair Isle for MANY years but have always shied away from this “scary” technique. Pat and Elinor have inspired me for years with their beautiful projects and many of  Elinor’s original designs are waiting in my queue to be knit.

In December I started a binder with a collection of  patterns I wanted to knit in 2009. I was determined that 2009 would be the year I would learn fair isle and added a few stranded patterns to the collection. So determined  in fact that I put a colourwork beret at the top of my list and decided it would be my first knit of 2009.

Well………… its now the end of October 2009 and I FINALLY mustered up the guts to give this fair isle gig a go.

I must say I was fretting for nothing! Once I got the hang of knitting with both hands I was flying. I didn’t seem to have any trouble with tension either, which was surprising.  It all just seemed to flow so wonderfully.

 

Pattern: Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool in grey mix and plum heather

Needles: 4mm and 5mm

Start Date: October 22nd 2009

Finish Date: October 23rd 2009 

Every time I put it down to tackle something else all I could think about was picking it back and knitting some more. It didn’t take me long to finish and it was sooo much fun. Addictive would be an understatement.

This pattern comes out quite small, mine was a perfect beanie when I cast off but I was dreaming  more along the lines of a slouchy beret. I blocked it over a dinner plate and volia, instant slouchy beret!

I’m already thinking about my next fair isle project and I’m excited that I no longer have to sit and drool over all those colourwork sweaters and cardigan’s. You better believe I’ll be knitting one of those before long!

Opus and my owl mitts completes my “grey” set of accessories. On to the next!

Pattern: Give a Hoot by Jocelyn Tunney

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino Wool grey mix

Needles: 4mm and 5mm

Start Date: October 19th 2009

Finish Date: October 21st 2009

Mods: I had to add about 8 plain rows before I started to decrease for the top in order for them to fit me. They also benefit greatly from a good blocking before wearing.

Finishing up!

Tadpole is still hanging on with only 6 days till my due date.

It’s given me the chance to finally get some pictures of these last few knits.

 

Pattern: Bunny Tail by Susan B Anderson

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton ease in Taupe

Needles: 4.5mm

Start Date: September 15th 2009

Finish Date: September 16th 2009

 Mods: I omit the pompom tail, other than that knit to pattern.

Pattern: Kanoko Pants by Yumiko Sakurai

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton ease in Taupe

Needles: 4mm

Start Date: September 14th 2009

Finish Date: September 16th 2009

Once I started these pants I just couldn’t put them down. The changes from moss stitch, stockinette and purling kept my interest wondering what would be next. These two projects make a nice set and will be lovely and  warm this winter.

 

Socktoberfest!!

So today is officially day one of SOCKTOBERFEST!

I must admit that a few years back before I really got into sock knitting, Socktoberfest was never really my thing. I’d watch people knitting fervently sock after sock hoping to complete multiple pairs before the months end. I didn’t really get it, I wasn’t drawn in by that small portable project you could cart about with you and work on for a few rows here and there. I guess in order to truly appreciate Socktoberfest you must MASTER the art of sock knitting.

Last year’s Socktoberfest brought the first Mystery Sock KAL by Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops. At that time I could successfully knit socks but I still wasn’t in love with sock knitting, the ole Second Sock Syndrome ALWAYS took over. I joined the KAL anyway because I knew incentive to finish before the deadline to be entered in for a prize would be just the push I needed to get through SSS.

Once the KAL was over I went back to knitting single socks and having to drag myself through SSS months after the first one was complete. Something had to change here, I loved the end result of warm wooly socks to keep my tooties warm but the process was just killing me.

Rebecca gave me a heads up last month about the Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry’s Mystery Sock for September. I’d joined this group about a year ago but the thought of knitting socks EVERY month with me having severe SSS would just about push me away from sock knitting altogether. The mention of a Mystery Sock again peaked my interest but what really pushed me over the edge was when I heard Nancy Bush was going to be designing the pattern. THE Nancy Bush??? From Knitting Vintage Socks??? *SWOON*

So September 1st I was ready with yellow yarn *this was the challenge for the mystery sock, they had to be knit in yellow yarn to qualify for prizes.* and my U.S. #1 dpn’s. I cast on, and followed along on the discussion boards for the group to see how everyone else was doing. I noticed alot of people were knitting both socks on seperate sets of dpns at the same time…. hummm that sure would help with the whole SSS and I wouldn’t have to worry about tangled yarn from knitting two socks on two circulars at the same time.  About half way into September Sarah posted about playing Leap Frog with Socks, same concept as those other knitters on the SKA group. I decided  I really needed to give this a go, my sock knitting mojo couldn’t get any worse so what did I have to loose.

I had to restart my Bush Mystery socks as the US 1′s just weren’t cutting it. I moved up to a size 2′s of which I just happen to have two sets. It didn’t take me long to get into the groove of things, 1 cuff then another, then into leg 1 then the other…… hey I could get used to this.

By the last week of September I had a completed SET of socks!!

Pattern: Nancy Bush Mystery Sock for Sock Knitters Anonymous Group

Yarn: Garn Sisu

Needles: U.S. 2 dpn’s

Start Date: September 1st 2009

Finish Date: September 24th 2009

Mods: I used size 2′s instead of 1′s, I did a twisted rib instead of regular ribbing *love the look of a twisted rib*,  I added an extra repeat on the foot as well as 8 straight rows before decreasing for the toe.

This is the first time I’ve ever done a Vikkel Braid, a very neat technique, takes some getting used to but looks great between the ribbing and leg. It was also the first time I’ve used ribbing part way down the leg before switching to stockinette. Top it all off with a dutch heel and a star toe and you have one great pattern! I look forward to using these techniques again in the future.

 I’ll be ringing in 2009′s Socktoberfest by casting on for this years Mystery Socks from Through The Loops, care to join me??

Striped

 

Pattern:  Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea

Yarn: Cotton Ease in Lake, Lime and Stone

Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm

Start Date: August 28th 2009

Finish Date: September 13th 2009

I love how this little cardi turned out, a simple design that produces awesome results.

The Cotton Ease was great to work with, I bought these three colours, Lake, Lime and Stone, with something striped in mind, I just didn’t know what I’d knit until I saw the Super Natural Stripes pattern. I wanted to knit something that either a boy or girl could wear and this pattern seemed to be very versatile.

Not only is it a great gender neutral cardi but the pattern is soo easily adapted, you could change the stripes to garter stitch, do only one stripe of colour, plain with no stripes, add some lacey stitches to the top, the choices are endless.

This would make a great baby shower gift that you can customize in colour and pattern for different babies, a perfect go to pattern.  There is a cute ridged hat that Danielle designed to go with the cardi that I decided not to knit right now. There are several other items I wanted to knock off in this last month so I went without the hat  but it is very sweet and would make a cute set.

I knit the 0-6 mth size but it should fit within the first month or so if not right away.

The perfect little cardi for winter.

 

 

Elijah

Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Stone

Needles: 3.25mm’s

Start Date: May 30th 2009

Finish Date: September 13th 2009

I started Elijah during my fourth month of pregnancy when the knitting mojo was barely in existence. I completed the head and then lost all mojo and patience for a good couple of months. I picked him up again in August determined to get some WIP’s finished up before Tadpole decides to arrive.

Technically this is my first knit toy as I started it long before Tad’s Monsta. I just love Ysolda’s pattern’s they are so clear and easy to follow, Elijah was no exception. This little guy is made by first knitting and stuffing the head, then you proceed to pick up stitches in different area’s and knitting the different body parts. Everything is stuffed as you go and ends are simply pushed inside Elijah so there’s no seaming, how great is that???

 This being my first knit toy and also the first using one of Ysolda’s toy patterns I was a little uncertain of how the stuffing and knitting as you go worked. I ended up overstuffing the head so he doesn’t look exactly like Elijah should but I don’t think Tadpole will mind. He’s still looks like an Elephant and Moose says “He’s our Elijah, there’s nothing wrong with him!” He’s quite excited about this little guy and predicts I’ll be making several Elijah’s over the years as replacements….

He’s the perfect size for a baby too so I’m sure he’ll be getting some love from the get go.

 

Monsta

Pattern: Penelope by Danger Crafts

Yarn: Cascade 220 wool and Patons Classic Merino

Needles: 5.5mm circs

Start Date: May 22nd 2009

Finish Date: August 26th 2009

As soon as I saw Grace’s version of Penelope I knew I had to knit one for Tadpole.  I could just picture Penelope being trailed from one place to the next in a little chubby hand, chewed on, hugged, and loved for a very long time.

I cast on right away but this monster just wanted to be difficult. I ran out of the contrast yarn not long into the pattern and couldn’t find any more Classic Merino in the mustard ANYWHERE. I was rather disappointed and wasn’t really excited about having to knit everything all over again and try to choose a different colour. Once I’ve set my sights on a colour combo is hard to steer me away from it so Penelope languished  in my knitting basket for quite some time hoping for some mustard yarn to magically appear.

It wasn’t until we went to the States on our little over nighter that I happened upon an abundance of Classic Merino in none other than MUSTARD!! I squealed with delight in the store and grabbed the ball I needed, I’m regretting not taking a ball or two more but what can you do.

Penelope was back in action once again….. until I ran out of my main yarn…. DOH! I had used the leftovers from my 2830 sweater and thought I’d have more than enough but I knit her double stranded so you wouldn’t be able to see the stuffing and ended up running out. Heidicame to the rescue this time and gave me a skein of the same yarn from her bag knitting stash, what a sweetie! I hope she’ll have enough with what I had leftover  to knit one of her designs with.

FINALLY Penelope came together nicely in spite of all the yarn issues I had.

I was a little scared, this being my first knit toy, that when it came time to stuff and sew together it just wouldn’t look right. Would the seams be too visible, could I get the ears to sit right, would it look lumpy??? Luckily my perfectionst ways shone through and I was able to figure out what worked best for me and looked right on Penelope.

I ordered a sampler pack of safety eyes from Etsy seller 6060 and used the second largest size which I think are perfect. I bought felt from the local craft store and used Aleene’s stretchible glue to attach it. I will probably look for a thicker felt next time as this one’s a bit too see through for my liking.

I’m very pleased with the end result, you can definitely expect more knitted toys around these parts.

I just hope Tadpole loves this little monster as much as I do!!

Tadpole’s Cardigan

 

 

Pattern:  Design C from Sirdar’s Baby Bamboo Too

Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton green

Needles: 3.25mm and 3.75mm straights

Start Date: June 27th 2009

Finish Date: August 7th 2009

 The “If Tadpole is a girl Cardi” is finally complete!! With just the sleeves left to knit I pushed it to the side angrily and tried to forget about it for a while as I kept frigging something up.  No matter how many times I started the second pattern on the sleeves it just wasn’t working. Finally once I gathered some patience and decided that I was going to FINISH this cardigan I realized that the pattern had an error and that it wasn’t me  messing it up at all.

For anyone wanting to knit this in the smallest size  the second pattern on the sleeves row 4 should read P0, * k1.p3* repeat.

As always the button was a challenge, I think my trouble is I know exactly what and then can never find what I’m looking for. I knew I wanted a shell look button but it had to be very small, then I remembered my mum’s button stash and went on the hunt. I found this cute  little vintage shell button in Mum’s many button jars that I thought was perfect.

This was my first time using Rowan Handknit Cotton, its soft and flexible unlike those crunchy types of cotton’s you sometimes find, a great yarn for various children’s knits, I can even see it made into a summer top for myself.

This will be super cute over a summer dress or paired with jeans/capri’s.

Now the only question  is will this be for Tadpole or a future sibling????

Mittens in July

Pattern: Newfoundland Mitts

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in Mustard and Chestnut

Needles: 3.75mm dpns

Start Date: July 29th 2009

Finish Date: July 31st 2009

My friend S asked for my help knitting the Newfoundland Mittens Pattern. I was all for it except I’d never actually knit them before and the only way I can adaquately teach someone how to knit a  pattern is to knit it myself, so……… Mitten’s in July it is.

These mittens were a delight to knit. Had a known how easy they were I would have knit them years ago. They are a basic knit, purl and slip stitch pattern that makes them fun and addictive to knit.

Knitting mittens seemed to do wonders for our weather so maybe I should start a snowsuit next…….